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Product Management vs Project Management: What Are the Differences?

Did you know that the average product manager’s salary in 2021 was over $100,000?

This exciting and lucrative field is attracting more and more talent each year. As demand for this role grows, more and more companies will be hiring product managers to oversee their product development.

Unfortunately, many people treat product managers and project managers as one and the same. (If you’ve been reading this so far and thought they were the same, don’t worry; you’re not alone.)

The differences between product management vs project management may seem slight to the casual observer. However, there are actually key distinctions between these two roles.

Keep reading to learn what these differences are and how these roles work together to bring a product to life.

What Is Product Management?

A product manager is the resident expert on all things relating to a specific product. This includes key details and specifications about a product, the target audience for the product, and how this product will further their business’s goals.

The product manager conducts all market research related to a product and its development. They also handle all communications between key stakeholders and the product development team.

Usually, a product manager stays with the product from its conception all the way through to the end of its lifecycle. This lifecycle may include several projects and extends into post-launch. The product manager will likely be involved in marketing the product.

What Is Project Management?

A project manager, on the other hand, plans and leads all activities related to a specific project. Once the project is over, the project manager steps away from the product being developed, regardless of whether it’s complete or not.

There are many PMI courses available to provide you with an in-depth explanation of project management. Their key role is to be an expert on all the tasks and resources related to a project, create and manage budgets, delegate tasks, and communicate a project’s progress to key stakeholders. They may or may not have specific expertise in the product that is being developed during the course of the project.

Product managers and project managers work closely with one another. A product manager will communicate the vision of the product to the project manager.

Then, the project manager creates a budget and schedule that helps the product reach its next major milestone. This may or may not lead to the completion of the product.

Regardless, the project manager does not stay connected to the product once it has been released on the market.

Product Management vs Project Management: Choose the One That’s Right for You

You should now have a basic understanding of the differences between product management vs project management. If one sounds more appealing to you than the other, spend some more time researching it. If you’re lucky, you may have found your new career path!

Looking for the latest updates on all things business and technology? Take a look at the other articles in the Technology section of our site!

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